Last month I purchased several new books. The Bread Baker’s Apprentice and American Pie both by Peter Reinhart, and My Bread by Jim Lahey. The books by Peter Reinhart really grabbed my attention. I love his ‘voice’. I was especially taken with American Pie which reads as much like a novel as it does a recipe book. I read it cover to cover and waited for my copy of his new book Artisan Bread Everyday to arrive, and when it did I read it cover to cover enjoying every detail, tip and nuance. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some bread dough.
In Artisan Bread Everyday Mr. Reinhart stated that Struan is his favorite bread and that it was his best selling bread at his bakery. I was wanting to try something totally different than the breads I’ve enjoyed so much this past year from Artisan Breads in Five Minutes a Day, or the variations of Jim Lahey’s No Knead and Almost No Knead breads. Struan seemed like a good place to start. I had almost all of the ingredients. The only thing I was lacking was some oat or wheat bran so I added a little more oatmeal.
The bread has unbleached flour, cooked brown rice, oatmeal, cornmeal, honey, brown sugar, salt yeast, buttermilk, and water. The ingredients are mixed and then worked only slightly before allowing to rest in the refrigerator for up to four days. I found this dough to be a pleasure to work with. It was somewhere between tacky and sticky, and after it’s rest in the refrigerator the loaves were very easy to shape.
I baked the first loaf at a friend’s house yesterday, and a group of us ate it with our lunch. I baked the second loaf this afternoon and it was enjoyed by my husband and I with our dinner. This bread is going to be wonderful toasted. It’s just a tad sweeter than I usually make my bread, but with this bread that’s not a bad thing.
I highly recommend Peter Reinhart’s books. Over time I will probably read his other books as well, and I’ll definitely be trying more recipes from the books I already own.
The recipe for this version of Struan can be found on page 90 of Artisan Breads Everyday by Peter Reinhart.
Update: Friday morning. This morning I toasted some of this bread, and it was better than I had hoped it would be. It toasted beautifully. It was crisp and chewy at the same time. It’s about as good as toasted bread gets!